Finally, we got to see some actual football, and we are finally learning if what we’ve analyzed and predicted all offseason is true or not. Some teams lived up to the hype. Others impressed maybe more than we expected. And then some, well, they have stuff to work on.
So let’s talk about the good, the bad and the ugly from week one. First, we’re not simply saying which games were good and which ones were bad. I’m pretty sure you could work that out on your own from looking at the scores. No, we are going to go deeper in this series throughout the season. We’re going to look at different aspects of a game, player performances, or things like Gundy’s mullet (which is always good). Nothing is off limits.
So, let’s get into it.
The Big 12’s Record – The Big 12 is undefeated heading into week two. It’s the only Power 5 conference with an unblemished record.
Jalen Hurts’ Heisman Odds – Last week, I thought Oklahoma’s chances at a 3-peat for Heisman and first overall draft pick were slim to none. Now, holy moley, they might do it. It’s just one week, but Hurts was impressive in his Norman debut. Hurts racked up 332 yards passing, 176 yards rushing and six total touchdowns in his debut performance.
The Start of the Chris Klieman Era – Yes, it was Nicholls, but Kansas State was impressive in Chris Kieman’s debut. Skylar Thompson looked like a like a whole new quarterback in Klieman’s offense. He completed 73 percent of his passes for 212 yards and a touchdown. If there were concerns that Klieman’s FCS success would not transfer to the Big 12, Saturday went a long way to easing those fears.
West Virginia’s Offense – Coach Brown said it himself after the game, “Just bad football, honestly”. The West Virginia offense was mediocre and uninspiring. They could not keep drive alive as they were just six of 18 on third down. That’s mostly because James Madison shut down the Mountaineers rush attack. West Virginia averaged just 1.4 yards a run. That’s not going to get the job done.
The lack of a run game is also why West Virginia never got into the redzone. WVU did score on a couple of big plays, but not being able to put down a sustained drive that gets into the red zone is a problem. Especially, against James Madison. But hey, you can’t have bad red zone efficiency if you don’t get into the red zone. So, there is that.
The Announcers – I get it. Most don’t realize it’s a thing, and I have to believe that the announcers wouldn’t say it if they did. So, I don’t necessarily blame them. It just needs to stop. Of course, I’m talking about the use of “Okie State”.
It’s derogatory. First, the term Okie, when used by non-Oklahomans, is typically a synonym for hick. Twitter seemed to think that Cowboy Nation is being too sensitive, but put yourself in their shoes. Imagine watching a national broadcast of the team you love only to continually hear them referred to as Hillbilly State or Hick U. There is just a lesser-than connotation with it. No one is calling Oklahoma “Okie U”, so why Okie State?
Texas’ Running Back Situation – Going into the matchup with LA Tech, the Longhorn’s running back depth was pretty thin. It was so thin that they prepped freshman quarterback Roschon Johnson to take carries this week. It was a good thing they did, too. Especially as Jordan Whittington left the game after re-aggravating a sports hernia.
Herman announced that Whittington will miss at least the next month of football, leaving the Horns with just one healthy scholarship running back. They desperately need some guys to get healthy.
Iowa State’s Contender Stock – The Cyclones got the win, but they’d probably rather forget everything else about that game. Iowa State entered the season with a dark horse hype and was widely viewed as perhaps the most balanced team heading into the season. It’s largely those expectations that landed them here.
They struggled against Northern Iowa. The Cyclones were just seven of 18 on third down, and despite putting nearly 500 yards of offense, they seemed to determined to field goal the Panthers to death. And they needed every one of them as they beat Northern Iowa 29-26.
It was an ugly performance, and one I suspect will knock them out of the AP Top 25. The got the win though, so they need to put the game behind them and show us next week that week one was a fluke.